What is Botox?
Botox is a neuromodulator injectable like Dysport and Xeomin, most commonly used to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the upper face. Botox is an effective nonsurgical alternative for those who are not ready for a surgical procedure or do not require one yet. Botox cosmetic is by far the most popular minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure performed in the United States. Botox is easily one of the most recognizable brands in most aesthetic practices in the last decade. In fact, 5.3 million Botox procedures were performed in 2011, which was a 5% increase over the prior year.
How Does Botox Work?
As we age, our body produces less and less collagen. This begins to happen as early as our 20’s. Combined with sun exposure and repeated facial expressions, the skin begins to weaken, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. Botox works by relaxing muscle tone in areas of unwanted wrinkles (rhytids). It blocks nerve impulses to specific muscle units to reduce activity and create a more youthful appearance and smoother tone to the skin. The results of Botox are temporary. As the formula is absorbed by the body over time, the results of Botox will wear off unless a follow up session is performed.
What Can Botox Treat?
Botox can effectively treat dynamic wrinkles, wrinkles that are worsened by facial expression. This includes:
- Crow’s feet in the outer corners of the eyes
- Frown lines between the brows
- Forehead lines.
While Botox is most commonly used to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, there are many other uses for Botox including:
- Lift the corners of the mouth
- Give the lips a pouty appearance
- Improve muscle spasms
- Relieve persistent migraines
- Relieve TMJ pain in the jaw
- Reduce excess sweating (hyperhidrosis) in the underarms
What is the Difference Between Botox and Filler?
Both Botox and fillers can effectively improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles caused by aging. However, while Botox improves the appearance of dynamic wrinkles, fillers target static wrinkles. Wrinkles that are present even when the face is relaxed are known as static wrinkles. Injectable dermal fillers work very differently than Botox. Instead of targeting the muscles in the face, fillers work by instantly filling in lines, wrinkles, and folds. Certain formulas can also be placed in the lips or cheeks for a subtle enhancement. If both types of wrinkles are present, Botox and fillers can work together to provide optimal rejuvenation. Dr. Vasquez will help you determine the formulas or combination of formulas that are best for your unique concerns and goals.
What to Expect During Botox Treatment
Administering Botox usually does not require any pain medications or anesthetic since the needle used to deliver the solution is very small. However, a topical numbing cream or gel is usually applied by this office to make this as comfortable as possible. Dr. Vasquez will then map out points around the brows and forehead where Botox will be placed. Next, he will inject a small amount of the formula into each point. This process only takes about 20 minutes to complete.
Recovery After Botox
Because Botox is nonsurgical, there is no recovery or downtime required after treatment. Patients are free to return to work and daily activities after their treatment. Some swelling and bruising may be present in the first few hours after treatment. Patients should avoid strenuous exercise for the first 24 hours and stay out of direct sunlight. It is also important to avoid rubbing the injection site.
Results of Botox
The results of Botox will begin to develop in about four days. After this time, patients can expect smoothed out fine lines and wrinkles in the upper face even when making facial expressions. The results of Botox can last for about four to six months before a touch up session is needed. If more severe signs of aging develop like sagging and volume loss, talk with Dr. Vasquez about future treatment with a facelift or brow lift.
Finding a Botox Injector
Although Botox is nonsurgical, it should only be administered by a professional injector. An expert plastic surgeon like Dr. Vasquez has a strong understanding of the facial anatomy and knows right where to place Botox to ensure the best results. Talk to Dr. Vasquez, a board-certified plastic surgeon, to find out if Botox may be right for you.
Botox Frequently Asked Questions
What is Botox made of?
Botox is made from botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin is produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. When placed near the facial nerves, the neurotoxin can temporarily reduce muscle contractions, leading to smoothed out lines and wrinkles and other muscle-related improvements.
What are the side effects of Botox?
The side effects of Botox are minimal and can include swelling, redness, bruising, and itching at the injection sites. These side effects should resolve very quickly over the next four hours. Less common side effects include headache and muscle stiffness. Contact your doctor right away if you experience rare side effects like difficulty breathing, eyelid drooping, or vision changes.
How many units of Botox will I need?
The number of units of Botox you will need will depend on your specific concerns and their severity. When used to treat fine lines and wrinkles, patients can expect to need anywhere from 6-30 units of Botox. The amount of Botox you need will be gone over during your consultation with Dr. Vasquez.
What is the cost of Botox?
The cost of your Botox treatment will depend on the number of units needed for your concerns. The cost of your Botox treatment and your payment options will be gone over during your initial consultation with Dr. Vasquez.